About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wakin' Up!

A few weeks ago I came face-to-face with a silver fox, who looked more black than silver, in my driveway after taking the kids to the bus stop.  There in the in between light where the sun hasn't yet risen and the night is still hanging on, I stared at an animal who stared back.  It was one of those freaky encounters with another species where you are left feeling awed.  And scared.  And curious.  All of the above.  

I have lived in this house for nearly 12 years and haven't ever seen a fox like that, yet other locals are now telling me how often they have seen the rare silver fox.  Just when I think I know a place, know the inhabitants, I am confronted with something new to me that has actually been around for quite some time.  I just hadn't been aware of it.  

(photo taken from Google search)
Seeing the silver fox affected me in a way I find difficult to explain.  Eye-to-eye, he shuffled sideways toward the road before darting away from me.  I stared after him for a few minutes and wondered where he was headed and where he had been.  I wondered why I hadn't ever noticed him before in all the years I have lived in the mountains.  

There are many times in my life where I realize I have lived unconsciously, going from place to place, going through the motions of a routine, without noticing the environment around me.  For example, although my husband died at the end of May, 2005, I was so focussed on getting my kids healthy and making sure they survived the trauma of his death, that I didn't unravel until a few years later.  I barely remember 2008.  Seriously, I cannot remember that year and am sure I didn't do much beyond surviving each day.  Coming out of that period has been like waking up from a long, dreamless sleep. It's as if I had been in a coma of sorts.  Now everything is much more vivid than I ever recall.

In our busy lives it is easy to stop noticing the environment around us.  We move to the rhythm of our routines, put on "city blinders" when in a crowd, immerse ourselves in our own dramas and forget to notice what moves in our peripheral vision.  But often what is on the peripheral is worth noticing; the peripheral often contains something magical and unique. 

I am glad I finally met Mr. Silver Fox.  Not only was he beautiful, but he woke me up.  We all need to look around us more and embrace our daily lives from a new perspective, from a perspective of wonder as if seeing it all for the first time.  Who knows what we will find when we deviate from our routine just a bit, let our eyes meet a strangers' in a crowd, or take a minute to simply enjoy the sunrise?  

I hope I see that fox again.  But if I don't, then I am thankful for our stare down a few weeks ago.  Sometimes just one moment can have profound impact.  Eyes wide open, I will look around for him and whatever other interesting creatures or experiences wait for me in the every day.  I am awake at last.  


  1. Oh, sweetie....this was just beautiful! Love how you've brought the concept of meeting that strange and wild creature and woven it into the way we should notice the beauty and the unexpected in our lives....

    I think once you've been surprised by something like that silver fox, it makes you look for it, or something else...it definitely makes you more aware.

    It's like once you have a child...the way you notice the world thru your child's eyes...right? Everything takes on a new light.

    LOVE the last line of this post!

  2. What a special experience you had with that silver fox! Meeting eye to eye had to be very powerful; one of those moments you'll always remember. Thank you for sharing a pic resembling it. I enjoyed reading about your own reflections that in turn began other thought processes. I really do LOVE the way your mind tinkers and tosses things about, Amber! When you begin to go in depth, I'm hooked to roll up the sleeves to see where you're taking us next. You write so, so well. I hope you don't get tired when I compliment your writing, but do find it engaging, energizing, and very much appreciated.

    My own world remains on a fast track filled with enough adult responsibilities at times to the point of feeling akin to being stuck below deck doing ballast inventory on a Viking ship (hmm, well my boss IS Norwegian...lol). In contrast, there also comes a greater appreciation for the seemingly insignificant. It is nice to be reminded we're not alone in our own awakenings either. If life surprises us with a hidden sandbar, we can choose to respond to the stubbed toe or appreciate the potential of a stupendous sand castle. I'd call the latter good company! So now...who is it that gets to build the wine cellar?!